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By close study of "Valentine" and "I Wouldn't Thank You for a Valentine" shows how Carol Ann Duffy and Liz Lockhead express their views on love.

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Introduction

By close study of "Valentine" and "I Wouldn't Thank You for a Valentine" shows how Carol Ann Duffy and Liz Lockhead express their views on love. Although Carol Ann Duffy and Liz Lockhead are both writing on their views and experiences to do with Valentine's Day and love in general, the tone varies greatly between the two. Liz Lockhead's "I Wouldn't Thank You for a Valentine" is satirising the idea of Valentine's Day, but still believes in love and her feeling about it are sincere. In contrast Carol Ann Duffy's "Valentine" is really just using Valentine's Day as a way of mocking the entire idea of love. Her poem comes across as being more aggressive, and uses a conceit, in the form of an onion, to mock the metaphysicals. In Carol Ann Duffy's "Valentine", a poem about Duffy and her views on Valentine's Day and love in general, the tone is really quite aggressive. One of the ways she expresses this is through the way that the poem is structured and by some of the language she uses. For example she starts off the poem by saying "Not a red rose or satin heart" in a one line stanza, which paints a very blunt, harsh, negative picture. ...read more.

Middle

Although both poets are Scottish it is only Lockhead's accent that is obvious. She uses Scottish dialect such as "swither" and "canny be bothered" throughout her poem, which suggest to the reader that she isn't taking it very seriously, but is proud of her heritage and is willing to show it. The first line in Lockhead's poem is "I wouldn't thank you for a valentine", which is very similar to Duffy's poem, "I give you an onion", in that it starts off with a blunt, negative statement. However Lockhead's is an ordinary sentence that wouldn't be considered unusual, unlike Duffy's, which would be considered to be very unusual indeed, and thus makes Duffy's more memorable. Whereas Duffy is against the whole idea of love, Lockhead supports the idea of love but is against the commercialism of Valentine's Day and the clich�s associated with it. She sums this up in one sentence, "The whole Valentine's Day Thing is trivial and commercial", and Lockhead goes on to say that it is "A cue for unleashing clich�s and candyheart motifs to which I personally am not partial". The way that Lockhead uses capital letters for the words "Day" and "Thing" as well as for Valentine suggests that that it has become an event because of the commercialism associated with it and for no worthy reason. ...read more.

Conclusion

Unlike Lockhead's poem, "Valentine" uses plenty of metaphors. For instance "it will make your reflection a wobbling photo of grief", proposes that you would be depressed and crying continually, and because she uses the word "photo" suggests that the effects of this would be permanent. To paint a very vivid image of her feelings, she uses similes such as "It will blind you with tears like a lover" and "It promises light like the careful undressing of love." These tell you that love was meant to be good, but always ends up breaking your heart in the end. The way Duffy says "undressing of love" also suggests possible dishonesty. Together these poetic devices portray a depressing image that is only enhanced as the poem continues. It clear to see that both poems have been strongly influenced by the writer's feminist beliefs and both have similar points of view on Valentine's Day. However, I prefer "I Wouldn't Thank You for a Valentine" by Liz Lockhead because of the original way in which the poem is structured and the humorous tone and general light heartedness depicted throughout her poem, which make for an easier and more enjoyable read, but Duffy's more serious approach and very vivid imagery portrayed in "Valentine", while still interesting, does not quite flow as well and therefore is not quite as enthralling a read. ...read more.

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